President’s Report 2022 /2023

Presented to ASPIR AGM Sunday October 8th 2023 by Miranda Sage

I have much pleasure in presenting the President’s Report for the 2022-23 year.

Finding a home

Last year I wrote that ASPIR was in the midst of negotiations with Bass Coast Shire regarding access to the CFA building for our future home. Our discussions continued through 22-23 with the Shire and with our partners in this project; PICES, the Art and Craft Gallery, and Phillip Island & San Remo Boomerang Bags. There were many delays and complications specially as the CFA could not vacate before the end of June. The other obstacle was that if the Shire made any changes to the building it all had to comply with the latest EPA, Health & Safety, and Access requirements…. a very expensive business. However, just recently we have been offered the spaces, as is, with some minor works to give the Gallery safe access, some updated power and lighting and insulation.

This is the best news.

Licences are being drawn up now and ASPIR will work with our fellow groups to occupy on a share basis. It also means we can engage with our members for ideas and working bees and really make the allocated space of the huge double garage our own.

Last year I mentioned that ASPIR received a Grant from the Bendigo Community Bank to purchase 24 chairs which will help to equip our area. Now we will have somewhere to use them.


Last year the Cup Weekend Exhibition 2022 was held in the Performing Arts Centre Foyer at Newhaven College. This new facility had just been completed. It proved to be an outstanding venue with good access and an ideal space. The Exhibition was a resounding success; we had an appreciative audience and good sales. Jan, Jill, Bill, Keith and Josie were our new hanging team. Again there was excellent support from local businesses for the Awards with the Bendigo Community Bank of Cowes as the major sponsor. A Quick Response Grant of $1000 from Bass Coast Shire went towards removal costs and was much appreciated. The Judge was Regina Hona.

The Young Artist Award, with contributions from the local Primary schools, meant we had many young people and their families come to see the exhibition.

Earlier this year the Easter 2023 Exhibition was also held at the Performing Arts Centre Foyer at Newhaven College. Committee and members worked together to set up and to hang the exhibition. Judge Jo Reitze.

For this exhibition we had a new award donated by Kaz Morton of Clay and Co for the best Body of Work. This added another dimension to our format and created a lot of interest.

Again local businesses supported the Awards and Raffle, ensuring the financial sustainability of the event.

Regular Programs

I would like to make special mention of our co-ordinators who conduct our special interest groups. It is pleasing to see the number of participants is growing. Many thanks to Marian for Appraise & Connect; Gay for Portraits; Jacki and Jenny for Life Drawing; Shirley and Barb for Textile Art Group (TAG); Ian and Lorrie for Ibis Writers; Charles for the Bulletin; and Shirley for the Workshops.  Reports from these groups have appeared in the Bulletins.

After PICAL was demolished we managed to find venues for our activities to continue; The Uniting Church Hall, The Rotary Community Rooms in Dunsmore Road, the new PICAL location and the Vietnam Veteran’s Museum.

Your Committee

It has been a privilege this past year to work with such an amazing, positive and supportive committee.  There have been a couple of additions. Soon after the last AGM Bronny Owen joined the committee and more recently Maria Buttery has come on board as Acting Secretary whilst Barbara has been facing some challenges. My heartfelt thanks (in alphabetical order) go to Barb, Bronny, Gay, Jan, Joe, Kerry, Maria, Sheryl and Shirley. Every committee member has brought their energy, their ideas, their time and encouragement to the table, often at times when it wasn’t easy for them.  We can now look forward to working together to settle in to our new home and to finishing the so far elusive website.

I know we can all be proud of what ASPIR has achieved in 2022-23

Miranda Sage

P.S. I would just like to mention that since the beginning of the current financial year we have had a highly successful fundraiser exhibition for the CFA at the Wild Food Farm, and are in full swing for our Cup Weekend Exhibition which will be part of the Opening events at Berninneit, the new cultural centre in Cowes. Reports on all these activities will appear in the Bulletins.